February 2016 - Zel Skin & Laser Specialists - now Schweiger Dermatology Group

Zel Skin Contributes to Comparative Study of Facial Photodamage

The published clinical report on the “Comparative study of Professional vs Mass Market Topical Products for Treatment of Facial Photodamage” was release January 2016.  The authors included two Zel Skin & Laser Specialists professionals, Irmina Wallander and Brian Zelickson.



Many over the counter topical products claim to reverse the signs of cutaneous photo-damage. To date, the two most studied ingredients for improving the texture, tone, and pigmentation of the skin are topical retinoids and hydroquinone.1


This split face study compares a mass market skincare regimen with a prescription skincare regimen for photo damaged skin.


Twenty-seven subjects with moderate facial photodamage enrolled.   Each subject was consented and assigned with the mass market anti-aging system (Treatment A) to one side of the face. The prescription anti-aging system (Treatment B or Treatment C) was applied to the other side of the face. Treatment B contained 13 subjects whom did not use 0.025% Retinol cream. Treatment C contained 14 subjects who used a 0.025% Retinol Cream. Subjects had 4 visits over 12 weeks for digital photography and surveys. Blinded physicians evaluated the photographs.


Physician objective analysis showed all three systems to have a statistically significant clinical improvement in photoaged skin seen in as little as 4 weeks of use. Participant’s surveys rated the mass market system higher than both of the professional systems for visible skin changes, ease of use, and likelihood to recommend to a friend. Twelve of twenty-seven subjects preferred the mass market system for overall improvement while twelve thought each system gave the same improvement.


This study demonstrates a mass marketed system can give similar improvements as a professionally dispensed prescription system. The majority of participants preferred the mass-marketed system.

Read the full study here.

Authors: Hilary Reich MD,a,b Irmina Wallander BA,a Lacie Schulte MS BA,a Molly Goodier BS,a and Brian Zelickson MDa

aZel Skin & Laser Specialist, Edina, MN
bUniversity of Minnesota Department of Dermatology, MN


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Plymouth, MN 55447

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